My Badminton and Life Blog

My Badminton and Life Blog

Thursday, December 4, 2014

2014 US Open Grand Prix Gold

Canada open passed and I had a great result making 2nd round at a grand prix level tournament. With that came a good chunk of world ranking points which would help due to tournaments falling off. Now it was time to fly off for the US Open only this year it wasn't down in Orange County at OCBC anymore it had moved to New York. More specifically Long Island so that would mean a completely different environment and venue than what I had become accustomed to. The day came to fly out and I was at the Vancouver airport with a bunch of other Canadian players, surprisingly we all ended up taking different flights yet got to LaGuardia around the same time. Mine and Derricks went through Toronto, others went through Montreal, and some others went through Ottawa. Upon arrival it happened again that nobody was there to pick us up from the airport so we had to take a taxi or well super shuttle in this case and did it take forever to get to the tournament hotel. Since we had an overnight flight I was feeling dead same with all the other players so for the majority of the hour+ drive from LaGuardia to Long Island I slept in the shuttle.

Upon arrival to the tournament hotel we realized that there honestly wasn't much around other than an Applebee’s across the street and some gas station convenience stores. That was going to prove to be a lot of fun…the hotel however was nice and thankfully had a weight room and pool. The tournament venue was the Suffolk County Community College and wasn't too far away that you could walk there if you had to but there was a shuttle service from the hotel to the venue. We made our way over after not eating lunch because we needed to have a hit in the venue, main draw singles matches were the next day so I wanted to be ready. The venue was nice and they did a great job of setting up minus the lights those were going to be quite the problem as they were placed in such a way they effected the view of the shuttle in certain areas. Aside from that there was little else wrong with the venue, not much draft and everything else was blacked out with the help of curtains. So we had our hit and then got some food, I would have to return later and attend the team managers meeting.

The next day rolled around and I went to play my match, I was up against Chia-Hsin Wan of Chinese Taipei first round. Coming off of winning a round at Canada open I was feeling amazing and great but that would all change when I came up against the Chinese Taipei shuttler. He would put me back into my place. The match stated off decent with us exchanging points but then it quickly became one sided and the Chinese Taipei player was relentless, forcing me to place his game no matter how much I fought back trying to play mine. His speed, precision, and strategy were easily levels above mine and I went down quickly but fought as hard as I could. And just like that my match was done and I was out of the tournament, another first round loss at the US Open, not as close as the year before when I lost in 3 close games. So I was in New York, well rather Long Island for another day before my cousins that lived closer to Manhattan would pick me up and I would spend 2 days with them. I watched some matches and kind of just bummed around the hotel for the extra day watching what was left of world cup and catching up on some rest.

The following day I packed up my things and my cousin picked me up from the hotel around 1, we drove all the way to their place where I settled in and met the rest of the family. It was already late afternoon at that point so too late to go into the city and do something. Instead we had a family and friend BBQ dinner out in the backyard which was fantastic and got to relax in great company. The following day though would be an early and long one as it was the last full day I had in New York so that meant that I would have to do and see as much of Manhattan as I possibly could.

My fridge was a win
Morning rolled around and I and my cousin’s wife Natalie left the house a little late, around 8am which we were hoping to get an earlier start around 7 or so. The trip began with a drive to the train station in order to catch the subway into lower Manhattan and start sightseeing. We got off the train and the first stop was Ellis Island and the statue of liberty, one of the famous and iconic landmarks in New York that cannot be missed so we wanted to hit that up first. The weather was very cooperative with us as it was sunny, hot and not many clouds in the sky. It was pretty cool to finally see the statue of liberty in person and up close, there were no more crown tickets available so we didn't get to go up there on that visit I’ll have to save that for another time. The boat ride over was packed but worth it we stared on the island for maybe an hour total and took quite a few pictures with lady liberty herself. Afterwards we headed back to Manhattan to continue with the rest of my 1 day rush tour of New York.

New York (Manhattan) in the background
With Lady Liberty 

Next on the list was to hit up the world trade center memorial area as well as one world trade center the new building that they built. I spend the time at the reflecting pool and it was a powerful place just to be there and understand what happened there and how that pretty much changed the world in so many ways. After that we moved onto the financial district, had to see Wall Street couldn't pass that up and was able to get some pictures with the famous statues that are all over the streets. 

With the OP himself, George Washington
Running with the bulls...ok standing with the charging bull

Moving on we went over to the waterfront then proceeded to yet another famous landmark the Brooklyn Bridge, walked about halfway over it and got some pictures. By this time it was afternoon and we hadn't stopped to eat yet let alone really stop to take a break so some rest and recharging was in need. We made our way over to Chinatown and walked through there then walked through little Italy and decided to have a bite to eat in a quiet little restaurant that turned out to be bigger and more grand that I thought. The pasta was amazing and the interior was fantastic as well.

Life on the bridge

Great restaurant, some mafia business happening in the back
Lunch left us feeling recharged and quite full so that meant a little walk around again and off to the empire state building. We made it there and then headed up for the grand experience, it was an amazing view. You could see for miles in every direction and get picturesque views of the Manhattan skyline both uptown and downtown. We spent some time there and thankfully it was still pretty bright out so the view was spectacular, I can also imagine that at sunset the view would look simply amazing to see. After the stop we were going to meet up with my cousins to have dinner because the last time I saw them was 3 years for one and 10 or so years for the other. Before that though there was some time to kill as they were just finishing up work, so we headed to central park to take a look around. I had made Natalie walk around the whole day pretty much non-stop and she was a trooper about it so when we got to the park she found a quiet nice little area and hunkered down to relax and sit. Me on the other hand I decided to go for a run through central park because at this rate that is the only way that I would get to see the whole area. So I started and I ran, I broke it up and would run for 1-2 miles at a time seeing what was along the way then take a nice little walking break almost a 1 to 1 ratio and then back to running until I had made a full lap around the entire park. I did get to see the entire thing which was really nice, but I will have to go back and actually walk through it properly not to mention check out the museum’s that are there too.

The sun was setting, Crystal and Carolyn (my cousins) were off work and on their way so we meet up with them both and headed down to Times Square. I think it would be cool to see Times Square in the day but seeing it at night was even better, all lit up and with so many people on the streets. We found a place to eat but there was quite the wait so we put our place in and Natalie waited at the restaurant while me and my cousins went out to see some of the area, they took me to toys r us which the store is gigantic and has a Ferris wheel in it at that along with a giant animatronic t-rex. Dinner was nice and great to catch up with everyone after so long but unfortunately it was so late that we didn't get to go to the wax museum but that will be a destination for the next time as well. That meant the last stop in Manhattan, grand central station where we would catch the express train back to the outskirts of the city where my cousins live.

With my fantastic cousins

Chillin with big old T-rex

Overall the trip to New York was fantastic, I got to play a tournament but also got to meet some new relatives as well as see my cousins too. Got to actually do touristy things as saw a lot of Manhattan in 1 day so that was pretty impressive in its own regard. If I decide to play the US Open next year, it will be Olympic qualification year, then I will take a few days longer and spend some more time out there. That was my experience in New York though, a little disappointment from the tournament but an overall fun time. Next up id be heading back to Calgary for a week to get my wisdom teeth removed and believe me I was not looking forward to that and have been putting it off for a long long time at this point. Time to look like a chipmunk for a week. 

No comments:

Post a Comment